Despite all my best intentions, it is 2020 and I'm still living a busy life with hardly any time to curl up someplace quiet with a good book. With two lively teenagers in the house, this is next to impossible. But my family and I have somehow made it a habit to slow life down every week for a proper Sunday dinner.
And just like our in our grandmother's time, Sundays are now the only time in which meat becomes the primary main course. But that doesn't mean that we don't eat meat at all during the rest of the week. The bones from today's roast chicken will be made into soup and other leftovers will find their way into other dishes.
Right now I'm making the soup for tonight's meal. I have to make two batches of split pea soup because my daughter has reached the heightened consciousness that comes with being 12 and has embraced strict vegetarianism while my son, being 14, has gained a ridiculous enthusiasm for bacon, which flavours the base of this particular recipe
. Normally I complain to deaf ears about this double work, but on Sunday afternoons, I don't because I relish this opportunity to slowly spend time with food, music and family. And its sometimes the only time my husband I have to spend time together during the day, as his business keeps him away from the house on Saturdays.
My husband owns and runs a small business. It started out a small coffee shop in the local farmer's market b...
. When another business went under, he started carrying their line of organic products
from an alliance of local farmers. And in the ten years since there have been many other changes to the business but the upshot of it all is that he now knows most of the food and wine suppliers in the area.
This is a good thing because since most of the best agricultural products get exported to Toronto and since almost all of the major monster supermarkets have left the area for more affluent populations, the only way to get your hands on organic, locally grown food is from the farmer's markets and the 'who you know network'. Its a funny juxtaposition - you can buy the same local honey from a ramshackle homemade stand in front of one of the few remaining family owned farms in the county. Or you can buy the same jar of honey for three times the price at a high-end gourmet store in Toronto.
I grab the jar of honey from the shelf and scrape out its last strands for I can brush the rolls that are about to go into the already crammed oven. Dinah Washington's "If I were a bell" begins and despite all the work and all the time that this meal requires, it gives me more peace of mind than being on the sofa with a book.